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I am just sitting here wondering why people with differing views on parenting are so defensive . . . I keep getting accused of being judgemental when in fact, I'm the one being judged . . . this makes me very sad . .. mothers should band together and not be so divisive. It bewilders me . . . why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
 

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Originally Posted by Erin082 View Post
why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
...Well, to start with, that's a vast oversimplification. It isn't like they are two seperate groups who think one set of things or the other. There is much dissention within the ranks, as it were, as you can see just by reading these boards.

My standard answer to this type of question is: The stakes for raising children are very, very high. There is no "right" or "wrong," or rather, there is, but they are highly subjective. If you've made Choice X and are raising your child passionately according to whatever ideas/ methods/ techniques Choice X entails, to see another parent living just as passionately by the ideas/ methods/ techniques of Choice Y may be threatening to some people, because... what if Choice Y really is right after all?

So people vehemently defending Choice X or Y or Z or Q or whatever because we desperately need to believe we've made the right choice for our children.

In short, as ugly as the debates get, I think it all stems from love. We LOVE our children. We want to do right by them. It is devastating to think otherwise.

Also, there is the fact that you have chosen Choice X for a reason, presumably. If Choice Y contains some opposite method (ie, GD vs. spanking), of course you might have a visceral reaction (sometimes in spite of yourself) because you DO see that choice as flat-out wrong.

It's hard to reconcile the desire to be accepting when faced with another parent's "wrong" choice, because in some cases it's almost a moral decision.

So... it just isn't as easy as "why can't we all just get along?" Parenting is complex and deep and highly infused with emotion and morality.

I think the best you can do is be aware of it and be ready to be understanding and forgiving if you feel judged.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Erin082 View Post
I am just sitting here wondering why people with differing views on parenting are so defensive . . . I keep getting accused of being judgemental when in fact, I'm the one being judged . . . this makes me very sad . .. mothers should band together and not be so divisive. It bewilders me . . . why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
Because, to be alternative, is to say that it's wrong to be mainstream.
Nobody likes to have others point out that they may be making poor choices, or doing it wrong.
 

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Originally Posted by au♥lait View Post
Because, to be alternative, is to say that it's wrong to be mainstream.
Nobody likes to have others point out that they may be making poor choices, or doing it wrong.
I get that. What I dont get is why people would lash out at someone out of nowhere . . . it seems like it is perfectly fine to discuss mainstream parenting ideas, but the moment a discussion is opened about AP ideals . . . no CIO is the biggie, of course, but also cosleeping, child led weaning, babywearing, etc. the claws come out . . . merely a discussion, mind you. Its so odd to me, it really is. I get that not everyone thinks the way I do. I wonder why it upsets people that I have a different philosophy, I honestly do . . .
 

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Originally Posted by Erin082 View Post
I get that. What I dont get is why people would lash out at someone out of nowhere . . . it seems like it is perfectly fine to discuss mainstream parenting ideas, but the moment a discussion is opened about AP ideals . . . no CIO is the biggie, of course, but also cosleeping, child led weaning, babywearing, etc. the claws come out . . . merely a discussion, mind you. Its so odd to me, it really is. I get that not everyone thinks the way I do. I wonder why it upsets people that I have a different philosophy, I honestly do . . .
Because they think that you are accusing them of doing it wrong, or worse mistreating their own children. They way we treat our children is very important to us. We aren't talking about how you brew a cup of coffee, or how you fold your towels. We are talking about how you think it is the best way to bring up children. It's pretty important and personal. Someone doing it differently, because they think your way has flaws, is going to raise the hackles a bit.
 

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Originally Posted by Erin082 View Post
why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
Considering that I am more of in between AP and "mainstream" person with my views and know people on both sides plus belong to different forums, your statement does not ring true to me. I find that AP people are by far more judgemental the mainstreamers.
 

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I think that the judgmental behavior is no less among AP parents. I hate the labels that people decide to adopt and assign. AP, mainstream, whatever. Why must people pigeonhole themselves and others? I just lean toward what I feel makes me a better parent to my child. I think thats what most parents do.
 

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Considering that many AP parents run around the Internet using words like "abusers" in reference to mainstream parenting, I kind of understand.

If I was doing what I thought was best, and all I really knew, and what I thought was loving, and people said that I was abusing my child, I might feel threatened too.
 

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Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
Considering that I am more of in between AP and "mainstream" person with my views and know people on both sides plus belong to different forums, your statement does not ring true to me. I find that AP people are by far more judgemental the mainstreamers.
Online, I don't know. IN my own real life experience, however, this has been pretty true so far. I wonder how much that will hold true as my children get older though.
 

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In my experience, the AP people have been more judgemental, but they've also been more well-informed and have made active choices regarding their parenting, so that may be why. The super mainstream people that I know haven't really made the CHOICE to be that way, they're just doing what their parents/ family/ friends have done.

Obviously this is not true in all cases. I kinda said this before but I am wary of these generalizations. Most people I know are mostly AP but don't agree with every single tenent and actively choose some more mainstream ideas.
 

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Quote:
why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
i guess i fall into the "mainstream". i can tell you that i am not remotely threatened by anyones parenting decisions.

i think we, as parents, need to not lump ourselves into these categories of child rearing because it just creates these kind of debates that really no one "wins" because when it comes down to it they are our children and we will raise them as we see fit. no matter how that is, though it may not seem to someone or other, that parent does love his/her child and you never know their situation unless you actually know the family.

i never ever say anything to any parent about their parenting unless i see the child being hurt/neglected. it is not my business nor my concern.. i have my own child to worry about and cannot let someones differing opinions affect my mood/decisions/instincts etc. i do what i feel is natural to do and if you want to call me mainstream then go ahead i know that i love my child and do what is best for him
as i am sure you do for yours.

i have no issues with ap. if you take the name away i wouldn't think anything different about your parenting style. just that hey that is your style.

i've learned to not get into the depths of decisions when talking to other parents because you know 9 times out of 10 we're going to disagree about one thing or another and i'd rather talk about how cute my babys laugh was when i tickled him or how much it sucks to have a tooth starting to pop out.. whatever, the basics.

like another poster said there is no right or wrong, its how you parent and what works for your family and your instincts. to me parenting is trial and error anyway, if i tried to follow a manual or a plan or a style instead of what just comes to me i would be completely lost.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by coffee.caugh View Post
i guess i fall into the "mainstream". i can tell you that i am not remotely threatened by anyones parenting decisions.

i think we, as parents, need to not lump ourselves into these categories of child rearing because it just creates these kind of debates that really no one "wins" because when it comes down to it they are our children and we will raise them as we see fit. no matter how that is, though it may not seem to someone or other, that parent does love his/her child and you never know their situation unless you actually know the family.

i never ever say anything to any parent about their parenting unless i see the child being hurt/neglected. it is not my business nor my concern.. i have my own child to worry about and cannot let someones differing opinions affect my mood/decisions/instincts etc. i do what i feel is natural to do and if you want to call me mainstream then go ahead i know that i love my child and do what is best for him
as i am sure you do for yours.

i have no issues with ap. if you take the name away i wouldn't think anything different about your parenting style. just that hey that is your style.

i've learned to not get into the depths of decisions when talking to other parents because you know 9 times out of 10 we're going to disagree about one thing or another and i'd rather talk about how cute my babys laugh was when i tickled him or how much it sucks to have a tooth starting to pop out.. whatever, the basics.

like another poster said there is no right or wrong, its how you parent and what works for your family and your instincts. to me parenting is trial and error anyway, if i tried to follow a manual or a plan or a style instead of what just comes to me i would be completely lost.
What she said.


Plus, as my child gets older (my dd is turning 9yo soon
: ) I find that there is SO MUCH more to talk about with other mothers than "styles" of parenting.
 

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For some reason people see "different" as a threat. To me it's not about universal right or wrong, it's about what is right for my family. What's right for my family may not be right for Sally or Susie's family. Doesn't make me a better person or morally superior. It makes me the right parent for my own kids and that it the most important thing!
 

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Have you heard of the Crusades? People are happy to kill each other over which Big Powerful Man In The Sky they worship.

When it comes to our children, something that is right in front of us every day, we are out of control!!!

 

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Snuzzmom;13569835]In my experience, the AP people have been more judgemental, but they've also been more well-informed and have made active choices regarding their parenting, so that may be why. The super mainstream people that I know haven't really made the CHOICE to be that way, they're just doing what their parents/ family/ friends have done.

I feel that this sums up my experience as well. We lean toward the Ap side I guess but don't really do labels. I know people who are more mainstream parents who think so things I or my AP friends do are a bit nutty but they aren't cruel about it. And a lot of times they think things like babywearing is cool and they themselves have done or do co-sleep a lot with their kids.

However, parents who call themselves Ap in my experience are more judgmental and I find competitive in their parenting. Almost like I am more AP than you. But I agree they are more active in their parenting decisions as well as stated above.

I understand your frustration but I don't know what to do about it. We have never been attacked by the choices we make but I also don't go around telling others I think they way they raise their kids is wrong. I offer my opinion or experience when asked and I try to do it in a non-judgmental way, maybe giving research I read as an example, etc. In the end all you can say is to each his own.
 

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Originally Posted by Bellabaz View Post
However, parents who call themselves Ap in my experience are more judgmental and I find competitive in their parenting. Almost like I am more AP than you. But I agree they are more active in their parenting decisions as well as stated above.
AP parents are just as apt to get upset about people judging their parenting as mainstream parents, IMO. And far more likely to try to push their parenting views onto other parents.
 

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I don't think one side judges more than other other side. I do think there is more judging going on within the AP side on it's own though, as someone else said "I'm more AP than you". I definitely feel that a lot. I was pretty radically AP when DD was an infant but I've kind of moved towards the middle now. From the mainstream side I get this "You're strange and your ideas are threatening" vibe and from APers I get a "You're not AP enough" vibe. :/

I really just avoid talking about this stuff. I do get what you mean though, sometimes I feel like before I even open my mouth people are already getting defensive. As in, "Oh you're still breastfeeding your two year old? I couldn't breastfeed because..." I'm thinking, "Whatever man, do what you do! I don't need an explanation!" haha

And I think BOTH sides push their views on others, whether on purpose or not. I think people might find me pushy sometimes, but really I'm just trying to share information I find personally valuable. That doesn't mean I expect you to do it-- no pressure! It's not like I'm stopping people on the street to make sure they don't spank or teaching them about cloth diapers.
 

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I consider myself to be an AP parent.
I think a lot of the language we use is rather judgemental and incendiary. Saying that cosleeping, BWing, BFing, etc is "better for the baby" is downright insulting to those who choose not to. I personally believe it is better for mom and baby, but I can't expect someone who doesn't do what i do to suddenly say, "You're right. Your way is much better. I suck."
 

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I think that all parents feel defensive about their decisions and their right to make them because our society is all about the parent's rights and any attack on that is felt as a personal attack. I don't think it is only mainstream parents who get defensive though. I don't think it really matters what kind of advice you give, I have been defensive when given mainstream advice and my friends have been defensive when I give AP advice, not because of the advice really (it hasn't been violent advice), but because it is someone else judging my child and I don't feel comfortable with that. I complain about a behavior to friends and my friend's complain about a behavior to me because we are friends and we listen to each other and have gotten to the point where we don't feel the need to give advice to show we are listening.
 

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Quote:
why does the mainstream feel so threatened by AP?
Probably because of terms like "mainstream" and "attachment" parenting. Both are silly, and obnoxious in my opinion. I refuse to use the term "ap" to describe my parenting. I simply parent the best way for my children, which I'm sure most parents try to do.
 
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